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Maternal art and post-natal wellbeing: Proximity and separation in Lena Simic’s Contemplation Time (2007-8) and Eti Wade’s Jocasta (2008)

Johnson, Clare

Authors

Clare Johnson Clare.Johnson@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Art & Design



Abstract

This article discusses two photographic artworks that challenge popular narratives of failed or achieved maternal femininity. My readings of Lena Simic’s Contemplation Time: a document of maternity leave (2007-8) and Eti Wade’s Jocasta (2008) are informed by interviews with six women in their first year of motherhood. I am interested in the ways in which these artworks articulate complex maternal relations and their potential to be used to increase the wellbeing of first-time mothers. The article includes discussion of the research method and proposes ‘empathic affirmation’ as an extension to previous work on interviewing mothers. An overriding concern has been to write the embodied experience of mothers back into readings of artworks that speak in their name. With this in mind the responses of my participants provide the backbone to my analysis of the artworks and why they matter to discourses of maternal subjectivity.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 5, 2019
Electronic ISSN 1759-0434
Publisher Open Library of Humanities
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 1
Article Number 1
APA6 Citation Johnson, C. (2019). Maternal art and post-natal wellbeing: Proximity and separation in Lena Simic’s Contemplation Time (2007-8) and Eti Wade’s Jocasta (2008). Studies in the Maternal, 11(1),
Publisher URL https://www.mamsie.bbk.ac.uk/articles/10.16995/sim.263/

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